US BIZ MISSION. A government-led business mission is currently in Washington D.C. to attract more United States-based companies to invest in the Philippines. Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez met with executives of ENDECGROUP, Inc. and Black and Veatch (top) and FedEx (bottom) to discuss their investment plans in the country. (Photo courtesy of DTI)

MANILA – At least two companies based in the United States have expressed their plans to expand in the Philippines, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

In a statement Thursday, the DTI said its officials led by Secretary Ramon Lopez, Presidential Adviser on Flagship Programs and Projects Vivencio Dizon, and FedEx vice president Ralph Carter met early this week in Washington D.C. to discuss the logistics firm’s expansion plans in the Philippines.

Carter disclosed that the company targets to commence its expansion plan in Clark, Pampanga soon, expanding its current capacity by five times.

The expansion plan aims to make the facility a transhipment point for packages, which DTI said “all arriving packages are sorted and reloaded back to designated planes flying to various destinations and will not pass through the Customs area”.

In 2020, FedEx announced its return to the Philippines with its USD30-million gateway facility in Central Luzon.

Carter said the company also sought to have clear and flexible transshipment rules as it calls for Board of Investments’ (BOI) assistance to have an agreement with the Bureau of Customs (BOC) while the BOI is coordinating with BOC for the drafting of a Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) on transshipment rules.

The DTI said the CMO on transshipment rules is an “important prerequisite to finalizing FedEx’s investment plan”.

Meanwhile, the DTI chief also discussed the investment plan of ENDECGROUP, Inc. and Black and Veatch (B&V), through its subsidiary Diode Ventures, LLC (USA), for an integrated data center and renewable energy facility in the Philippines.

Lopez told reporters in a Viber message that the companies are still finalizing their investment amount for the data center and renewable energy facility.

“(T)he partnership between ENDEC and Black & Veatch through Diode Ventures is looking at investing initially in two hyperscaler data centers and solar energy projects.

Based on BOI estimates, a 150 to 180-megawatt hyperscaler integrated with a renewable energy power source would typically require over USD1.5 billion,” he said, adding this is the typical size of the firms’ first phase of project.

The government's economic team is in the US to strengthen economic ties and attract more US investments here. (PNA)